WASHINGTON — A majority of American adults say they are not confident that the November elections will be conducted in a fair and equal way, according to new data from the NBC|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll.
Fifty-five percent of adults overall say they are either “not too confident” or “not at all confident” about the fairness of the election, just 14 percent say they are “very confident” in the election and 29 percent said they are somewhat confident.
But there’s a partisan split in how much Americans trust the election’s fairness.
Sixty-five percent of American adults who identify as a Republican or “lean Republican” are not confident in how the election will be held. That compares to 46 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners who aren’t feeling confident about November’s results. A majority of independents — 56 percent — also aren’t confident in the election being conducted fairly and equally.
Thirty-four percent of Republicans and Republican leaners are either “very” or “somewhat confident” the election will be conducted fairly and equally, compared to 43 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners.
The top U.S. intelligence official said Friday that Russia is “using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden,” and in some cases trying to “boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.” The analysis from Bill Evanina also said that China “prefers that President Trump — whom Beijing sees as unpredictable — does not win reelection.”
President Trump has repeatedly questioned whether the fall election would be conducted fairly, although he’s cast more doubt on the integrity of voting domestically than the impact of foreign interference. When asked last month whether he would accept the election results, he said he would “have to see.” He expressed similar hesitations ahead of the 2016 election.
The president has also argued against expanding mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic — he has repeatedly called it “corrupt” despite there being no evidence that voting by mail increases voter fraud. And he repeated even those accusations to float whether the election should be postponed, a power reserved for the Congress, not the president.
Fifty-five percent of American adults want to allow all Americans to vote by mail in the fall, and 55 percent of adults say they’re very or somewhat likely to mail-in their vote in November.
However, when broken down by party, most Republicans express concerns about changing laws to expand mail-in-voting. Just 23 percent of Republican and Republican-leaners strongly or somewhat favor those changes, and 33 percent of them say they are very or somewhat likely to cast their vote by mail in November.
Meanwhile 86 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners want to expand vote-by mail and 79 percent say they are either very or somewhat likely to mail their ballot in this fall.
Democrats have promoted access to mail-in voting since the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden called for every state to allow voters to vote by mail in April and called Trump’s attacks on the practice “un-American.”
But there’s been some bipartisan concern about the U.S. Postal Service, especially ahead of the expected influx in voting by mail come the fall.
President Trump’s approval numbers remain unchanged in the NBC|SurveyMonkey Poll. Forty-four percent of adults strongly or somewhat approve of how he’s handling his job, while 54 percent somewhat or strongly disapprove — that’s the same split found in the poll between July 6 and July 12.
The data come from a set of SurveyMonkey online polls conducted August 3-9, 2020 among a national sample of 44,601 adults in the U.S. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.